SKS Microfinance was established in late 1997 and launched operations in rural India in 1998. Today SKS provides financial services, including micro-loans and insurance, to poor women across 19 states in India. SKS served 7.8 million members as of September 2010. It is based in Hyderabad in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
SKS distributes small loans to poor women so they can start and expand simple businesses and increase their incomes. Their micro-enterprises range from raising cows and goats in order to sell their milk, to opening a village tea stall.
SKS uses the group lending model where poor women guarantee each other’s loans. Borrowers undergo financial literacy training and must pass a test before they are allowed to take out loans. Weekly meetings with borrowers follow a highly disciplined approach. Re-payment rates on our collateral-free loans are more than 99% because of this systematic process. SKS also offers micro-insurance to the poor as well as financing for other goods and services that can help them combat poverty.